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2014 Manitoba caribou hunt
Good morning guys: Trying to setup a 2014 Manitoba caribou hunt. Being my first caribou hunt, going with a outfitter I think is a good idea. Has anyone ever hunted with Ace Wilderness Outfitters in Manitoba? If so, how was your hunt, flight, accomodations, food, your guide?
I will be driving from Minneapolis, MN to Thompson Manitoba, then flying to the hunting are from there. Still researching at this point, but have pretty much decided on a hunt in either northern Manitoba or Quebec. Love to hear from anyone who has done this type of caribou hunts in the past. Thank you.
I've made the drive to both montreal and Thompson from MN and the Manitoba drive is much easier. We hunted caribou in Quebec thru Leaf River Lodge and had a great time, good guys in camp and good hunting, that being said I'd be going with Jack Hume Adventures if I were ever to go back.
As far as caribou in Manitoba, the guy I bear hunt with up there likes the people at Webber's, don't know anything first hand. Good luck, I would love to do this hunt as well someday.
I have been with Ganglers and it was a great hunt, but Caribou did not show up until Day 4 and it was short lived. Could have been a disaster. At this point, I would go hunt something else, or go for a mountain caribou instead, it is just a huge gamble hunting caribou right now. I am fortunate enough that I have already got my Woodland, QL, and Central Barrien Ground.
All hunts are somewhat of a gamble (unless you hunt a preserve :)... I'm going up to Manitoba in September and booked with the Lodge at Little Duck. I'll let you know how it went when I get back.
I looked at hunts from Alaska to Newfoundland.. Been looking at a caribou hunt for the past several years. I thought about Alaska and also thought about Mountain Caribou, but I'm not as young as I used to be and those mountains seem to get higher every year.
I suspect Quebec is the best place to go if you want the best chance of killing an animal (if you go with a reputable outfitter who will move you if necessary), but I didn't like the numbers (number of hunters they run through those camps every year). Also, I wanted to hunt where I could drive to so I could bring the meat back without too much difficulty. I don't like flying on commercial airlines. Thompson, Manitoba is only about a 16 hour drive for me...doable.
I contacted most of the outfitters in Manitoba and I also called their F&G dept. to inquire about the outfitters, caribou hunting there, etc. I was referred to the office in Thompson and visited with a couple of conservation officers there. I think the outfitters there are all reputable. I received no negative feedback on any of them. A couple of the outfitters were already booked for this year and only had a couple openings for 2014.
I look at this hunt as an adventure....not just to kill a couple of animals. Of course that's why I'm going, but with any hunt killing and animal is only part of it. I have also visited with some people who have hunted Manitoba. Some hit it just right and a couple worked hard to fill their tags, but all had a great time and want to go back. One went late (late Sept) and didn't kill an animal.
I'm ok with not killing an animal.... As long as it's a good hunt, the guides work hard, etc. I'll be happy. I fully expect to have an opportunity... I'm comfortable with my decision to hunt Manitoba, but if the hunting Gods don't smile on me, so be it.
tatonka, I don't think you understand the difference between gambling on a caribou hunt or gambling on any other big game hunt. The animals are either going to migrate through your camp when you are there or their not. It doesn't matter how good or hard your outfitter or guides work, you are not going to go out hunting for the day and find a bull if the migration is not there! You will be on a $10,000.00 camping trip!
tatonka, I hope Barry (aka Skipper) is still guiding there and you get to hunt with him. Redman speaks words of wisdom. Been there-done that. Hope the caribou show up for you-they didn't for us.
Redman, I understand. That's Caribou hunting when you're hunting a migrating herd. It's just money, right? :) I know couples who spend as much for a week laying on the beach in Mexico getting drunk and sunburned. I'd personally rather spend a week hunting and/or fishing than do that even if I get skunked. One thing to keep in mind is that Outfitters do not want their clients to be unsuccessful... With the internet these days, word travels faster than the speed of light. There are forums like this where people are very quick to voice their displeasure if they have a bad experience (and vice versa). Word of mouth advertising can be a business's best friend or worst enemy. Anyone looking for a hunt where they will be assured 100% of killing something should probably go to a game farm.
Elknut, Check with Robert and Michelle at Munroe Lake Lodge. Had a fantastic hunt with them 2 years ago. They have some resident animals as well as the migration. I think they're booking 2015.
have heard great things about Munroe and Webber's
There are some very nice bulls up there right now...so if size is a determining factor...you should have a good hunt.
I am booked with Munroe Lake Lodge this year. It's only a 12 hour drive for me to Thompson, they pick us up there. Robert and Michelle seem to be stand up people as I have visited with them twice at Sports shows. Through a friend I know of a guy who has hunted with them many times and has nothing but good to say about them. I can't freaking wait for this.
I used to guide at Little Duck (Nejallini) long ago. Many times we'd look out from the lodge to the Wolverine Rapids and see caribou laying down waiting to cross the river in daylight. (I never knew them to attempt it in the dark). If the lake is calm, have your guide take you to Weak Tea Bay. Best place there besides the rapids crossing. I built 2 ground blinds for you to hunt there long ago. Anywhere on the other side of the runway across from the lodge is good hunting too. Grayling fishing is great in the evening below the rapids there too, small jig with white twister tails for them. I know "Nej" and Monroe have had the best caribou in the province in the last few years. Have a great hunt!
Redman - When did you hunt with Gander? What week of teh season? Did they move you to a different area? Would you recommend Gander to a new Caribou hunter?
I meet a caribou guide from Gangler who described the hunt in northern Manitoba, it was a positive report. That was 2 years ago. I would suggest going throught Bowhunting Safari Consultants and look at all your options, those guys are well informed. I went on a mountain caribou hunt, and did so because from what i know, mountain caribou are more of a resident species, are big bodied animals with huge racks and the hunt is spot and stalk for the most part.
I went on the second hunt in 2010 and we drove from Indiana to Thompson. Ken Gangler was very organized, had great equipment, great planes, great food, great guides and a great camp. We landed at camp to greet the outbound hunters who tried their best to keep positive spirits even though none of them saw any caribou and the problem is that Ken will move you if there is a place to move to. All of the camps are right on the Nunavut border and if the caribou have not crossed into Manitoba yet, you can't legally hunt them. We were fortunate enough to have a small migration of a couple thousand come through on day 5 and 6, but then it was over! No caribou anywhere. I found the bowhunting there to be extremely difficult with the amount of cover. I had a great time and harvested a really nice bull, but it is a big gamble on the migration. Jim Fink at Blackstone offers the best Barrien Ground hunt as an "on call" hunt where he calls and tells you when to come a day or two before the migration arrives.
Here are some photos from Ganglers
Dining Cabin, heated with sat Internet
I hunted with Webbers in Sept '11. If you want to talk about adventure, we drove 17 hours north to Thompson, then took the 18 hour train to Churchill, and had a full day of sightseeing before the hour flight into camp from there. By taking the train, we were allowed to bring back all of our meat, as we didn't have to pay for additional luggage or weight. We also didn't have to split our racks.
They only run two camps, so there isn't flexibility to move hunters if the animals are not in your area. When we were there, the weather turned warm and the animals turned back north. There were a few stragglers around and the one day the weather turned bad again, there were enough animals around to make things interesting.
There were only 3 bowhunters in camp, and only 2 bulls were killed with bows, the rest were all rifle kills. There were opportunities at smaller bulls with the bows, but the guys elected to pass and hold out hope for something better.
My biggest concern was the duration of the hunt, as I felt it wasn't long enough to start with. We then weren't allowed to hunt on the last day as promised, but rather asked to help the guide and camp manager break down camp instead. With a lack of animals seen the previous days and an open tag still in hand, that was a hard pill for my buddy to swallow.
One thing to keep in mind. The northern Manitoba herd is as far as I understand it the only herd to actually EXPAND its numbers in the past few years.
I have worked for Webbers and have only good things to say about them. GREAT, great standup people and outfit.
I'd hunt with them again as well, but would have the discussion about the hunting on the last day if needed ahead of time is all and make sure we were all on the same page.
On the last epidode of "The Edge" (Sportsman's Channel Show) Ryan Kohler hunted caribou in Manitoba. Very entertaining show...well done. I'm not saying everyone is going to see what he did and/or be successful....just saying I enjoyed the show....can't say that about the majority of hunting shows on tv these days, but that's a different topic. :)
Redman - Sub-Arctic was one of the auction items at my SCI banquet and I was fortunate enough to with the auction at 50% off the original price. What suggestions do you have for a first time Caribou hunter? What are some of the things you liked and dis-liked about Gander. What would you have done differently? Did you do any fishing? How about small game hunting? Did you see any birds? They say they have 3 Caribou camps. What camp where you in? I understand the issues about migrating animals, but at 1/2 the cost it is worth the gamble to me.
Has anyone else been to Gander? What was your experiences? Pictures are always good and appreciated.
I saw the TV show where Babe Winkleman and his daughter hunted at sub-arctic and killed a couple nice bulls. I'm sure you can watch that on Youtube... Most everything is there these days!
That's a great deal you got on the hunt! The guy I work for bought two hunts a couple years ago at an SCI convention (not sure which one)... He bought an African trip and a trip to New Zealand for Red Stag. Can't recall what the African hunt was, but it was dirt cheap. The New Zealand hunt was only $1,200.00 and he killed a whopper. He flys all over and had a bunch of frequent flier miles, so the airfare didn't cost him anything. He said no one seemed to want to bid on the hunts.
Good Luck on your hunt!!!
Redman - One more thing. How did you get you antlers and hide home? Did you use the recommended taxidermist in Wenipeg?
We drove from Indy to Thompson and I can tell you, it's one long freaking drive!
I am from Detroit and there is no way I would attempt that drive. Ouch. Do you have any more pictures you can share?
I used to live in Shelby Twp, it's about the same drive as Indy. I will try to post more tonight.